Government and philanthropy often share common goals and a capacity to enable wide-scale systems change. When they work together, they make ideal partners—philanthropy contributing nimbleness and a spirit of experimentation, while government commands the resources to sustain what works. In Los Angeles County, such collaboration was catalyzed by the murder of an 8-year-old boy in 2013. This tragic death prompted the Board of Supervisors to empanel a commission of notable child welfare experts to examine systemic failures.
Since then, an increasingly durable and agile spirit of collaboration in L.A. has fueled an ability to test new ideas, assess their effectiveness, and bring them to scale in ways that significantly impact child welfare reform. As a result of these efforts, the previously siloed and reactive child protection system is moving toward becoming a more integrated countywide child well-being system. Cultivating Hope Through Action: How Public-Private Partnerships Are Strengthening Child and Family Well-Being in L.A. County, is a report chronicling the work that drove increased collaboration and funding in L.A. County. It also addresses ways to grow similar collaborative ecosystems for child and family well-being in the future. Read the executive summary and full report below.
The Parsons Foundation accepts Letters of Inquiry (LOIs) at any time throughout the year. Initial review by Foundation staff is completed within six weeks. Organizations with the most competitive LOIs will be invited to submit full proposals, which are due 60 days following an invitation.
All applicants receive written communication regarding their requests. Our goal is to respond to LOIs within six weeks. Invited full proposals typically take six months from date of receipt to receive a funding decision.
Downloadable versions of our LOI and Full Proposal applications are available on our “How to Apply” page, along with instructions for submitting an application through our online application portal.
Due to limited staff resources, the Foundation rarely meets with applicants prior to the submission of written materials. If you have thoroughly reviewed the website and still have questions, you are welcome to call the Foundation at 213.362.7600 and speak with a program officer.
Our program officers are not assigned to specific areas but are broadly knowledgeable about the nonprofit community. Each request is treated independently, and it is likely that an organization will work with several program officers over a period of years.
Yes. All applicants must first submit an LOI, regardless of previous funding history. Please access our online application portal here to begin your LOI.
No. Due to our resource constraints, the Foundation can only consider one request per 12-month period for a given organization.
No. It is a good idea to submit applications to multiple sources of funding.
Competition for grant funds is intense and a number of factors determine if a proposal is declined. Frequently, it is due to our limited resources. The staff and Board look for exemplary programs and projects that best meet the Foundation’s areas of interest. You are welcome to call the Foundation and ask to speak with a program officer regarding a declined request.
Another request is eligible for consideration 12 months from the date provided in the declination letter.
A downloadable version of our Full Proposal application is available on our “How to Apply” page, along with instructions for submitting an application through our online application portal.
While they are not necessary, you are welcome to include letters or articles if you feel that they would strengthen your request.
A high priority is placed on contact with applicant agencies. Site visits are conducted when a proposal is under active review. Foundation staff will contact you to schedule the visit.
Before reapplying, your organization must wait until the full grant cycle has concluded and submit a final report by the due date provided in your grant agreement. If your request has been declined, your organization is eligible to reapply 12 months after the date of declination.
The Parsons Foundation makes grants to public charities serving Los Angeles County. We do not make grants to individuals.
The Foundation funds nonprofit organizations providing services throughout Los Angeles County. The County is divided into eight geographic regions known as Service Planning Areas (SPAs), which the Foundation uses to better understand its grantmaking. Please refer to this map on the Department of Public Health’s website for a breakdown of the County’s SPAs.
Agencies with a “preliminary ruling” letter from the IRS are eligible. You might investigate linking with an existing agency that would agree to serve as a “fiscal agent” for your request. Another alternative is Community Partners , which serves as an incubator for new nonprofit efforts.
Loans, or program related investments, are not considered.
The Foundation makes unrestricted grants for general operating expenses as well as grants for program or capital needs. The Foundation prefers to see capital requests near the end of a campaign.
We are limited geographically to work within Los Angeles County. Additionally, a list of program areas that we do not fund can be found here.
Rarely. A particularly compelling need for multi-year support must be articulated.
You may access information about grants made by the Foundation in the last three years in our searchable grants database.
The median grant award is $50,000. Grants rarely exceed 10% of an organization’s project or budget costs.
Please visit our Reporting Guidelines page for our report guidelines and how to submit.
We acknowledge receipt of every report via e-mail.
If your project concludes before the end of your full grant cycle, you may submit a final report early. However, you are not eligible to reapply until the full grant cycle has concluded.